We want to be productive. Vast majority of the programmers want to be as far as possible from the bare bone metal. Let compilers and virtual machines convert our programs to the machine code.
Compilers convert the source code into a byte code or a machine code. Transpilers convert a source code of a program in one language into a source code in another one.
You can think of any programming language (other than a machine code) as a syntactic sugar added on top of a another language. While compilers just dissolve all this sugar, transpilers dissolve only a part of it.
Currently I use TypeScript for writing code that uses two frameworks by Google: Angular 2 (it’s written in TypeScript as well) and Polymer.
* TypeScript supports types. This allows the TypeScript compiler help developers in finding and fixing lots of errors during development before even running the app.
* Creators of TypeScript follow the ECMAScript 6 standard,and TypeScript 1.6 already supports more than a half of the ES6 syntax. Also TypeScript enriches ES6 by adding types, interfaces, decorators, class member variables (fields), generics, and the keywords, public and private (well, private is not what some might think). See the roadmap of TypeScript.
* TypeScript interfaces allow to declare custom types that will be used in your application. Interfaces help in preventing errors caused by using the objects of wrong types in your application. This feature will be dear to the hearts of Java and C# developers although TypeScript interfaces can be use not only with the implements keyword, but used for presenting object types in a special way.
* TypeScript comes with a separate static code analyzer, and several IDEs or text editors already use it (e.g. WebStorm, Atom, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio 2015 et al.)
Anyway, today TypeScript is my language of choice for writing the source code for Web browsers. I’m planning to write a couple of more blogs introducing TypeScript syntax. If you want to play with TypeScript, visit http://www.typescriptlang.org.
If you’re planning to work with Angular 2 and want to see how to use TypeScript with this framework, our upcoming “Angular 2 Development with TypeScript” book may come handy.